In a letter to the auteur animation community from Julie Roy, the National Film Board of Canada’s Director General – Creation & Innovation declared that the organization is reaffirming its commitment to the artform within its English Program, and is expanding the Animation Studio to include the Digital Studio team.
Redubbed the Animation and Interactive Studio, the outfit will build on the NFB English branch’s esteemed reputation by incorporating new innovations and exploring new forms of storytelling.
“This new structure will reinvigorate and reaffirm the studio’s national mandate to work with and support the animation community, a diversity of experienced and emerging filmmakers and wide-ranging digital artists across Canada,” Roy wrote. “…By combining the two teams, the new studio will be in a privileged position to better connect with talent regardless of region and strengthened in its ability to provide specialized technical and administration support to its production teams.”
Roy also shared the mission key points for the reformed studio:
- To work with and support a diversity of experienced and emerging filmmakers, animators and interactive artists from across the country.
- To produce works that are recognized globally for their creative excellence and innovation; works that help define and expand the genres of animation and interactivity.
- To leverage our acclaimed expertise in animation filmmaking and interactivity for all NFB projects and productions.
- To strategically select and continuously develop a slate of animation and interactive projects that work together cohesively to engage audiences and contribute to the success of the NFB as a public producer.
To lead this unit, interim Animation Studio overseer Rob McLaughlin has been named Head of the Animation and Interactive Studio. McLaughlin will work with teams in Montreal and Vancouver to define a strategic programming vision for the entire English Program animation and interactive slate, for the financial and human resource management supporting artists working in all regions of Canada. He will work closely with producers Maral Mohammadian, Jelena Popović, Dana Dansereau and Nicholas Klassen.
McLaughlin has held the interim post since Executive Producer Michael Fukushima retired, assuming the role in May 2021.